Friday, April 30, 2010

So Far, So Good

Let's back track a little so I can add the pictures I didn't download from yesterday.

These were part of the equipment we saw in the convoy. This must have been there meeting place as they all pulled in & the guys ran across the road & got food at Love's Truck Stop before heading out. So, I'm assuming they were coming from someplace in Kansas & traveling at least to Oklahoma. Maybe Ft. Sill?

We are now crossing the southeastern part of Kansas on Rt. 166. It was a really nice country road. Lots of farm land. Looked a lot like home in New York & Pennsylvania. But, get this, the speed limit was 65! And, it was only a 2 lane highway. Of course, it didn't have a lot of curves in it like back home either, so that might have been the reason.

The corn is starting to come up. In fact, it was high enough you could see it blowing in the strong winds. I wonder what it's like when it's 7 ft. tall......bent over, or lying on the ground???? Maybe my Kansas Camper can answer that question!

A granary along the way. Can't remember which town it was in.
Nice looking little barn. Sorry about the glare - it's an "out of the window" "going down the road" shot.
Now remember, we are in Kansas (Dorothy)......I wonder where the barn went??????? Hey sister, I wonder if that's trumpet vine growing up the side of those silos or just plain vines????
Just wanted to let all you guys back home know that we went through Chautauqua County yesterday!!!!! Yep, Kansas has a Chautauqua County & a town named Chautauqua. I tried to take a picture of the map, but the road was too rough for a clear picture.

This church made me think of home too. Looks almost like the one I grew up going to except ours didn't have a basement.

We arrived in Carthage, Missouri to spend the night as I said in yesterday's post.

The next pictures are what we faced going down Interstate 44 this morning. Talk about a front. You could see it. We did pretty good at staying ahead of it all day. Later on in the morning though it got quite cloudy. This was such an unusual picture. I kept telling Bill to take a picture & he finally did. Earlier you could see the sun's rays drawing water. It was really neat looking.

Now tonight, the sky isn't so neat looking. Right at this moment, I'm not sure if it's the "calm before the storm" or we aren't going to get the worst of the storm. The Weather Channel on the computer (don't have TV) says the winds are about 23-24 mph now (which doesn't seem like it at all) & then diminishing to 15 mph at 1 & 2 am when the strongest severest storms are suppose to hit. So hopefully we just get a lot of rain! We are under a tornado watch until 10pm so we are hoping that just goes away. Looks like we are to get rain for the next couple of days, so we have to decide in the morning if it isn't too bad, we can just travel in the rain at a slower pace. I hate sitting around waiting since we've already done that this week!

So tonight we are in a little town called Mulberry Grove, Illinois just off Interstate 70. There are several campers here that belong to Good Sam's group called Spartan Sams. The couple next to us in the Montana's names are Bill & Sue. That's easy to remember since I have a nephew named Bill with a wife named Sue that live in Michigan. Another gentleman came to talk with us when we pulled in & were setting up & he & his wife winter in Mesa, Arizona at Valle Del Oro, another park that we've visited, to go to their Country Market on Thursday mornings. It's a small world. They, too, pulled their fifth wheel for several years & ended up buying a park model. They were originally from the Buffalo/Rochester, NY area before moving to Illinois.

As I look in the living room (I'm at the kitchen table tonight), I see Bill's book has dropped to his lap & he is sleeping. It's only 7:30pm so, it's going to be a long evening with no TV for him or me. Another words, he's already gone to bed! I'm almost done with my book so I'll have to play computer games or find another book.

Until next time..............The Traveling Cardinal's

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another Part Day on the Road

I didn't bring my camera in from the truck, so I'll post pictures tomorrow night.

Now for the rest of the story.............
We got ready to leave the RV Repair shop this morning at 7:40AM. Not! One of the front jacks wouldn't retract. Great. Another problem to fix. So we took everything out of the front compartment so they could get to it. 4 of the teeth in the gears were gone. Now that's fixed & new!

Bill noticed the hot water tank outside was dripping this morning so he released the pressure valve. Some corrosion on it from that wonderful Arizona water. We talked it over with the service manager & he said sometimes when it starts corroding it won't seal properly. Should be okay for awhile, but recommended we change it. So I said while they were at it, would they replace the anode rod. We did that last year at Camping World when we left AZ. Oh my gosh, you wouldn't believe what it looked like when he brought it in this morning! It even broke off the end & he had a hard time getting it out. The first half of it was completely gone & the end half was so corroded you wouldn't have know what it was! They said since it was so bad they would flush our hot water tank too. So just a warning for any of you who camp in Arizona,,......make sure you keep that hot water tank in good working order & replace that anode rod. After seeing what it looked like, I'm glad I don't drink their water!!!! Again, thank God for extended warranty insurance! Since we never got off the lot, they waived the deductible for this problem!

We got on the road around 11:40am. I drove until right before the Kansas border. We saw a big convoy of either Army or National Guard at Love's & also along Interstate 35 headed South. Don't know where they were going, but there sure was a lot of them.

Bill drove until around 4:00 when we stopped to refuel. Then I drove as far as Carthage, Missouri where we are spending the night. Tomorrow we should be able to make it somewhere into Illinois. So that is the excitement of the day! That is enough! The wind was really strong today, but we did great. Had the wind behind us this morning & on the south side this afternoon. No problems though.

Now I can officially put Kansas on my map. Didn't see much except farm land. We did see some where someone had a collection of old McCormick Thrashing Machines just like my dad used to have. Wish I hadn't been driving, I would have liked to have taken a picture. I just want to get out of this area before any storms hit.

So, until next time...................The Traveling Cardinal's

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Oklahoma City, OK

Our day started out great! Beautiful sunny weather, no wind, a great day for traveling. Had my route all figured out, knew which city came next, etc., etc. Well, you know what they say about "the best laid plans".......

We were traveling East on Interstate 40 from Amarillo, TX on into Oklahoma. When we got to Oklahoma City, I was going to take Interstate 35 north so we wouldn't have to take the toll road 44. Well, we didn't quite make it to Interstate 35. A very nice young lady (wish I'd gotten her name), got along side of me & motioned toward the trailer tire & said to pull over. I didn't feel anything (other than the darn rough road), but when I pulled off on the shoulder to stop, I saw the smoke. It wasn't the tire. They were in good shape & not hot. We use nitrogen to keep them running cool. But it was smoking somewhere. Bill finally figured out it must be the wheel bearings. So I called Good Sam ERS & told them what we thought. She talked with the tech & he suggested since we were right by an exit to get off & check it out. Then we decided to look in our Trailer Life Directory & find an RV Repair shop. Found one 4 exits down. I called Motley RV Repair on Reno Ave. in Oklahoma City & they said I should be able to get there okay. Well, I made it all the way until I got off Exit 142 & the wheel started wobbling. I made it to the corner where we had to turn going very, very slow with the 4 ways on, but when I turned the corner, I got around it, but the tire came off. Fortunately everyone was aware something was wrong & no one had an accident. I just Thank God that I wasn't going 65 down the Interstate, that the girl stopped me & that I was only going about 5 mph when the tire came off. The crew at Motley came right down, blocked us up off the road & drove the truck & trailer in for us. The pictures tell the rest of the story.

This shop is Immaculate!!!! The staff is friendly, courteous & I've never seen anyone start a job as quickly as they did. They certainly know how to run a business. The shops floors are so clean you could almost eat off them. Every tool has a place & is in it's place. Check out this web site:

Motley RV Repair
There are pictures on their you wouldn't believe. In the lounge, there is a 3 ring binder of letters & commendations for the work they perform. I think we found the right place. Bill had them replace the wheel bearings in all four wheels. They found a wire that was bad in one of the other wheels for the brakes. Thank God we had them do all of them. We might have had something else happen with the brakes down the road. He said apparently the manufacturer hadn't left enough slack in the wire & it had rubbed the insulation off. So with all four wheels done, we are camping outside of their shop tonight & tomorrow they will start the exterior repairs. Tomorrow may be another long day.

Tonight I'm glad I bought a Park Model in Arizona & am going to be leaving the 5th wheel in NY!!!!

So all you Happy Campers & Full Time RVer's, this is another day in the life of...............
The Traveling Cardinal's

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's Officially Spring!

We decided to stay another day in Amarillo, Texas. The winds began to blow around 3:30AM this morning & I thought we were in a hurricane! I said to Bill "I don't think we'll be traveling today". So we stayed in bed & listened to the wind. I finally did get back to sleep sometime around 5:30. These time changes really mess my sleep up!

So we didn't do much of anything today. Bill read, I was on the computer off & on all day, baked a lemon cake, took a nap, fixed supper & then took a walk. The winds died down this afternoon & the sky got blue & the sun came out. When I came back from my walk, this little birdie was right by the truck! My official sign of spring. Yes, I know, all you people on the East coast have been seeing them for more than a month. Well, this is my FIRST! We don't have robins in Arizona (at least I've never seen any). No worms I guess. So, I finally feel like I'm going home.

Bill put water in our tank & picked up the water hose. It's suppose to be cold tonight & that thing is a bugger to roll up when it's cold, so he did that tonight. Tomorrow we should be able to get on the road early. Not much to do as we never unhitched.

My friend Velda, from Oklahoma, just chatted with me on Facebook & she said the weather was cool today & was to be warmer tomorrow. That's not a good sign in Oklahoma -- warm, cold, warm, cold. Prayers for a safe journey through Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois & Indiana. I think once we hit Ohio I'll feel better.

So, until next time............The Traveling Cardinal's

Sunday, April 25, 2010

A New Follower

I just realized I have a new follower to my blog. Welcome to Happy Kansas Camper. Your experiences sound like a "true" camper. You'll have a ball. Your pictures look just like what my son would post if he had a blog.

Again, welcome aboard.

Truly Traveling Cardinal's Again

We have officially left Arizona for the summer. We left Superstition Sunrise around 8:30 Saturday morning. As you can see from the pictures below, it was a beautiful sunny day! Of course, I couldn't spend Friday at the pool as it was windy & cloudy. Too cool for me. Now that we have left, it's going to go back to the high 80's & 90's again.

Here you can see a house built right on the top of this hill on Ellsworth Rd./Usery Pass Road. Now Chuck H., this is just what you want. Looks like a beauty!
We met tons & tons of mountain bikers. Some times there were 10 or so in a group, some just a few, & some by themselves. I can't imagine how they get up all those steep hills! No wonder they are so skinny!
A view from Bill's passenger side of the truck.
Look at that windy road! Beautiful scenery though!
By the time we got between Payson & Heber, AZ we started to see snow along the roads & in the woods. Like going from one world to another.
I drove all morning & then we stopped for lunch right before Holbrook. Bill drove for about 1-1/2 hours then he started getting sleepy again. So I drove until we got to Milan/Grants, NM for the night.
This was one of the mountains we could see along the way. Parts of N. Mexico were dusty & hazy. The wind was blowing pretty hard & we soon lost the blue sky. Tumbleweed were blowing across the road & dust from fields was really blowing. The roadway was not bad, but you couldn't see the mountains & the sky was whitish.
We finally ran out of a lot of the wind by the time we got set up & ate supper. We got a neat campground that was one of those pull thru, easy in, easy out, full hook ups for $17.00 a night! Couldn't beat it. I was glad we stopped by 3:30 as it filled up fast. I don't think there was a spot left when I walked back down to the office.

We set out this morning just before 8:30 again & we are now in Amarillo, Texas. The campground here is nice, large lots, with GREEN GRASS. Haven't seen that in awhile. Since they had an inside, heated pool, I thought good, I need exercise. I got Bill set up to read one of the hometown newspapers, made macaroni & cheese & put that in the oven, set the table & took off for the pool & a shower. It felt great. I kept looking at the clock at the pool though & was confused. When I came back I looked up Texas time zone & oops, they are Central Time, not Mountain Time. So we are now only 1 hr. behind East Coast.

Our next leg of the trip will take us into "tornado alley". We are praying for a safe journey & hopefully the bad weather they had in the south a couple days ago will be over until we get through there. That is the only part of this journey I don't like.

So, until next time.................The Traveling Cardinal's

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Time is Running Out in AZ

Here are some pictures of the last few days. Yes, I've been working my fanny off.

This is the front of the living room where I stripped the wallpaper & filled all the cracks before papering.
Stained & sealed the window frames. (See the cactus in bloom outside the dinette window).
Finished project without the curtains. Decided to keep them in plastic so I won't have to wash them next Fall.
Today Bill sprayed for termites around & under the Park Model & then sprayed for weeds. Then I spread salt all around to make double sure we don't have any weeds. Last night I planted my bougainvillea & my prickly pear & beaver tail cactus. I cut the insulation & put it in the windows. Today I covered over all the furniture, washed clothes & went & got my hair cut. With the exception of getting the plumbing ready, we are ready to lock up the Park Model.

Since it was really windy today & cooler & the forecast could have rain, we put everything around the 5th wheel in it's storage place, took down the flags & pole & just have the last minute things to do. Our time truly is running out. I took a few clothes to the 2nd hand store & then went on a photography run. I was so excited to find a saguaro in bloom right on our road. There is a bird on the top flower. They were pecking away at the flowers.

A close up
I love this funny little saguaro, he greets us every year on Broadway Ave. It looks like he has two arms waiting to hug you with a funny nose & no head. The beaver tail cactus along here are beautiful.
Tonight the remainder of our gang went to the Legion for Burger Night. Wow! What a burger. They were delicious. Another stop for guests next year as long as someone can get us in.

Tomorrow we get the last minute things done, Friday at 7am we have the oil changed in the truck & then I'm going to RELAX at the pool!! It will be a long time before I can swim in a heated pool again!

My next post will truly be from.................The Traveling Cardinal's

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Picnic & Stroll

Sunday after church Bill & I went with friends Benny & Tommie to Boyce Thompson Arboretum. It was a beautiful day for a picnic & a walk/hike. I walked until I thought my legs would drop off my body. I finally had to give up & say we had to head back because they were aching so bad. But it was a beautiful day & Benny & Tommi hike every day & are so knowledgeable about plants, flowers & trees. It was so fascinating. The flowers were absolutely gorgeous. Pictures don't show the beauty of the color. You just have to come to Arizona in April to enjoy it!

Since I can't remember the names of any of the flowers, I'll just let you browse through a trip through the desert. This was the view from the picnic area.
Tommie & Benny, friends from Georgia
Can you tell by the mouth expressions we were feeding our faces??????
This plant looked like miniature bananas as flowers.
Mexican Poppies
This was a beautiful honeysuckle. The blossoms weren't quite all out yet, but the fragrance was heavenly.
Already I've forgotten the name of these roses. It was gorgeous. Benny, Bill & Tommie
Iris - ah ha, I did know one!
I love these little blue flowers.
Hummingbirds were all over the gardens.
A beautiful view of the mountain. Look at the rock formation. The little one in the middle looks like it is hardly attached.
Looked like velvet flowers
"Something" rose
Cactus in bloom
I love the design on the cactus below
A beautiful stroll & view
Red Gum Eucalyptus
These were the most unusual greenish flowers on this tree. The leaves grew right out of the flower.
This huge yucca was at the entrance. Unfortunately we were on our way out in the truck when I took this & was facing the sun. It was huge.
I hope you weren't bored walking down through my flower garden. It was such fun to walk around & enjoy & not think about having to pull weeds! Tommie said they've been here about 10 times & still have not seen everything. This was the first time they had walked through where all the flower gardens were. I wish I could have walked farther. There is a suspension bridge further on from where we stopped. Another year & we'll go again. My friend Jan called while we were eating & said she had been looking for someone to go with her & hadn't gotten there yet, so next year.....we've got a date in April when the flowers are out!

Today I cleaned at the park model again & got the rest of the kitchen, the hallway & the bathroom all done. Tomorrow or Wednesday I'll get the bedroom done. Then it's just the AZ room (which doesn't need much done) & the living room. I've left that because I need to make some decisions about what to do with the walls. Some minor repairs need done to the wallboard & then I'll either paint or paper. I could wait until next year, but I'd rather do it this year. I don't want to think about what needs to be done when we get back. We will have enough to do with just moving the posts out on the patio so we can get the truck in there.

So, until next time.............The Traveling Cardinal's